No Shame, 2013

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Pompeya is not one of those quiet indie bands that are meant to go largely unnoticed; they are just too cool for a pathetic fate like that. At the same time, this is also the kind of band that is not very likely to happen. These four guys could very well have been hipsters from Brooklyn, but they in fact hail from Moscow, Russia. Contrary to what someone in the “West” might expect from a band from Russia, Pompeya’s blend of ‘70s disco and ‘80s New Wave is sunny, spirited, and cheery.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band’s debut full-length Tropical is every bit a throwback synth record. But it is also very different from your typical New Wave influenced indie album, for it is deeply rooted in disco music, which means it is full of funky bass lines and groovy rhythms, without any of the ‘80s gloomy goth poppycock.

Pompeya approaches their love for disco as elegantly as any band could. Along with the spirit of disco, the band also seeks melodiousness in all of their songs. The result is a batch of exquisitely crafted dancy songs. In a recent interview for, singer Daniil Brod said, “We want to be those kind of artists that really raise the bar for melody and soundscape – we strive to create music with a natural flow, that is not too synthetic,” referring to artists like Bryan Ferry, Tears For Fears, Phil Collins, and Tina Turner. Such is the kind of musical ethos on Tropical, which is reflected very clearly in the songs, which have amazing melody and impeccable sense of production without appearing artificial.

In a way, Pompeya has the sensibility of sophisti-pop acts of the ‘80s in terms of how smooth and stylish the song arrangements are. It is almost impossible to believe that this album has no big name producers associated with it, not to mention that it was all recorded in Moscow without much outside help. And Brod, with his oftentimes falsetto singing and slight Russian accent, sounds suave enough that it is hard not to picture him wearing a crisply ironed suit and shiny shoes singing these songs.

Tropical, as the name suggests, is warm and buoyant. Much like the album cover showing exotic wild flora and fauna in the most unexpected setting, this is a totally unexpected album from a totally unexpected band: this might seem an accident, but what a wonderful one!

Rating: A

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